The Benefits Of Using Videos In Language Learning

Films can be used as a tool to entice the students in learning language.  You can make use of movies or videos in coming up of enjoyable games and activities that could increase language learning for the students.  If you find it difficult to make ideas on how to do such, this article will show you various ways of how to make creative tasks for language points and skills.

Modals of probability and possibility

You can simply practice this language point using videos.  One way is to decrease the total information that the students have.  For example, by switching off the sound, turning the picture off, covering a part of the screen, or selecting a vague scene or still.  Your students could then contemplate on what is going on and why.  This can be turned into a game by the students, where they could use the modal verbs to create bets.  For example, if they state, “It must be some sort of a time machine”, that is betting ten dollars, whereas, if they say, “It could probably be a way of creating monsters”, that would mean that they only bet three dollars.

The same things can be done with guessing what an ad is adverting or guessing who stated which dialogue.  You can also determine what the referencing expressions in dialogue refer to.

Reference expressions

Provide the students with dialogue from the movie with expressions like “one”, “that”, and “hers”.  This way, the meaning is not clear from the information you have given them and your students would have to guess what the words referred to.  They would have to watch, and check.

Countable and uncountable nouns

Give your students worksheets with sentences about things that are countable and not countable.  For example, “There is some cake”, rather than, “There are some cakes”.  Another example would be, “There are some chickens”, rather than “There is some chicken”.  If your students believe that at any time the sentences on the sheet are true about that portion of the film, they would shout it out.  Give them one point if it is correct, or lose one point if the thing on the screen is different.  You could also give your students pairs of the same sentences and get them to compete to call out the correct one first.

There is/ there are

Your students can create as many “There is/There are” sentences as then can, with regard to what is on the screen when the video is paused.

This is similar as above.  However, you can allow your students to talk about anything that occurred in the film up to that point.  For example, might be with “There have been… so far”, but “There are… in this film” is also possible.

Your students could predict how many kisses, slaps, deaths, or such were there in the film, and then watch and check.  This could tie in well with your discussions of on screen violence or other significant topics.

Reported speech

Provide the students reported speech versions of what some of the characters would say with some of them modified, so that the students would not quite match what is said.  For example, “He said that he loved her”, for “I love you”.  Your students would have to listen carefully to the dialogue and mark each one with “Same” or “Different”.  They could also try to determine which ones do not match before watching the film.

You can use a video with minimal dialogue.  Watch it with subtitles and no sound.  Set half of the students looking away from the screen and listen while their partner explains the dialogue in reported speech and mark the lines that match on their worksheet, which can be provided as direct or indirect speech and could include sentences that do not quite match to make it more challenging.

Present to the students a plot summary with inconsistencies in it.  Get your students to use reported speech to discuss the corrections at the end.  For example, “The text stated that he was not the murderer, but he actually was.”

Do similar to reviews with views in, asking the students to disagree with as many things as they can, might be for points.

The students could roleplay a dialogue from the video prior to seeing it and watch to check for differences.  Use reported speech to describe variations between the two dialogues.

The students could watch a video in which the person talking is lying.  For example, it could feature someone on a court case.  Have the students say what they believe was inaccurate using reported speech, then watch the scene where the truth comes out, and check.  (e.g. “He said that he had never met her before, but I think they were lovers”)

Infinitive of purpose

The students can guess why characters do the actions you have listed.  Then, watch and check the film.

The students can guess what the characters would do in order to attain the things you have listed, then watch and check.

The students can match the actions to the purposes on the worksheet, then watch and check.

Students can make as many sentences as they can with infinitives of purpose while watching the video.

Relative clauses

Select a number of objects in the film that the students would not know the name of, for example, a tow bar and fingerless gloves.  Provide them descriptions of these objects written with relative clauses, and add may be a few that are similar, but incorrect or are of things that do not appear in the film.  An example would be, “It is a white fabric object, which grandmothers would place on the arms of sofas to prevent them from wearing out” for “doily”.  When the students see the object on the screen, they can read out the description or could just shout out the number of the sentence.  You could also do the same by providing the students definitions and names, ask them to call out the names.

Other language points


The students are handed out cards with names of one or more functions; for examples, on “Request” and “Complaint”.  Have them see a part of the film without the sound.  They will then call out when they believe that a character in the film is saying something with that particular function, guessing from the situation, body language, and such.  Prior to having the students watch the film again with the sound on, let them try to guess the exact words what are used.

The students would hold up a card or call out the name of the function that they believe will be true of the succeeding piece of dialogue, and then continue watching and check.

Colour vocabulary

The students are divided into pairs.  Half of the students would face the screen and the other half would look away.  The students facing away are provided with a worksheet that is a scene five or 10 minutes into the movie, but with no colors.  While the students facing the screen watch the film, they would describe all the colors to their partner, who would then color them in with crayons or coloring pencils.  The students should only color in the scene that is exactly on the worksheet.  Other things such as characters can be colored in as they go along.  When the student thinks that they have completed the entire sheet, they can call out “Finished”.  They would receive 10 points if all of the colors are correct, but would get one point deduction for each wrong color.

Students can guess the colors of objects in the movie and then watch and check

Students can predict what objects of each color will be in the movie and then watch and check


Students are presented with a poster of the movie with no writing on it.  They should add words or sentences to “market” the film to people to see their poster.

Students can utilize as many adjectives as they can to describe the scene in film while on pause.

Students can predict the behavior of the characters from their photos and/or descriptions, then watch and check.

It is the same as above, but you ask the students to write down an action or piece of dialogue that shows each personality word.

The same as the previous, but with emotions.

The students guess what the characters will do or say from descriptions of their behaviors and a description of the episode, and then watch and check.


Place up a number on the board and play the movie until such is on the screen, and hit pause.  The first student to state the right sentence with that number would receive a point.  This could also be performed through writing or by choosing words from cut up pieces of paper to create a sentence.

Pause the movie and give one point for each correct sentence with a number greater than one.

Phrasal verbs

Give the students descriptions of what people do in the film or dialogue from the movie.  This could include phrasal verbs but has either preposition or the verb taken away.  The student could then guess the missing words and then watch to check.

Provide students with sentences that describe what would happen in the movie or pieces of dialogue that include phrasal verbs, separated so that the verb and preposition are divided from each other.  Ask the students to match the two halves, then watch and check.


Present a list of vocabulary, including words and expressions that are and are not in the film.  The students would then have to call out or cross off any that they hear.  This is a good way to practice skills in skimming and scanning.

The same above, but with sentences

Provide an inaccurate description of the film.  Ask the students to correct it as they watch the movie.

Do the same, but with inaccurate descriptions of the characters.

Present the students with one or two reviews and ask them to find many things that they can to disagree with as they are watching the movie.

Give the students a number of reviews and ask them to find the one that they most agree with as they are watching the film.

Give the students a number of different videos with the more evident clues taken away.  They would then compete to work out which review is for the video you are watching.  This works best with various episodes of the same series or sequels.

Listening and pronunciation

Obtain a bootleg copy of a film or TV program with dodgy English subtitles.  Ask the students to watch and listen when the subtitles do not match with the dialogue.  The same could be possible with correct English subtitles when all of the words would not fit on the screen, but it is more frequent and entertaining with pirated versions.  You could then set up your own version by writing the subtitles yourself.  You can use modern software if you find it time consuming.

Provide students with a list of words that appear in the movie with their homophones, for example, hair and hare.  The students must then listen out the words and work out from the situation, which of the two words is being said.

This is the same as above but with minimal pairs.  For example, ask the students to listen out for “of/off” and working out which one it is from context and pronunciation.

Ask the students to predict which word a character is saying from the shape of their mouth with the sound turned off.  Watch again with the sound on and check.